The Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion has received funding from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research for another five years (2018-2023) as a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on independent living and community participation of individuals with a serious mental illness. With this funding comes an exciting group of innovative and cunning edge research, training, and technical assistance projects that will again significantly advance knowledge about community inclusion and participation!
Research projects include:
- Peer-facilitated interventions to promote mobility: The ability to get around in one’s community has a major impact on community participation. This study tests two interventions to enhance mobility, one involving bike share and the other training in the use of public transportation. Both interventions are peer-facilitated, continuing our long-term efforts to identify interventions that are consistent with a peer support ethos – successful living in the community.
- Internet-based study of “Action over Inertia”: This study examines a structured intervention for promoting community participation delivered online that incorporates peer support. It continues our Center’s efforts to develop and test online interventions that may be more accessible.
- Enhancing Parenting and Family Outcomes Through Family-Based Leisure: Our Center has long-term interests in enhancing supports for parents with mental health issues. This study assesses a Parenting Through Leisure (PTL) intervention focusing on increasing knowledge about the benefits of core and balance family leisure activities for both parents and children.
- Photovoice to Promote Campus Engagement of College Students with Mental Illnesses: This study explores the efficacy of a novel Photovoice-Peer Support (PPS) intervention aimed at enhancing campus engagement for students with serious mental illnesses. It is based upon a previous study where we found students to be highly engaged and reported many positive outcomes.
- Exploring Targets for Promoting Community Participation: This large sample study will identify potential mechanisms and novel targets for future interventions to support community participation of people with serious mental illnesses. Areas that will be explored include the relationships between participation, neurocognitive abilities, metacognitive abilities, self-regulation, environmental factors, stigma and trauma.
- Identifying Coordinated Specialty Care Programs that Promote Participation: Coordinated Specialty Care programs for individuals with early psychosis are blossoming throughout the country. A focus on promoting participation in areas that young people desire is believed to be an important component to enhance service engagement. This study will identify programs around the country that are focused most heavily on promoting community participation.
- Understanding Participation in Non-Urban Communities: One of the most frequently asked questions the Temple Collaborative gets is how to specifically promote inclusion and participation in less urban areas. This participatory action research study addresses community living and participation issues faced by individuals with SMI in rural areas by hosting consortiums and convergences of key stakeholder groups to identify what participation means to them and what are the key facilitators and barriers to inclusion and participation.
Training and technical assistance projects include
- PAIMI Network and Training on Community Living and Participation: A National Policy Supports Initiative: This training project will establish a partnership between the Temple University Collaborative and the National Disability Rights Network Training and Advocacy Support Center in order to develop and facilitate national training activities on community living and participation across 57 different Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental illness (PAIMI) programs.
- Building Storytelling Capacities: This training project will develop a facilitator’s training guide to implementing storytelling activities. We will seek opportunities to work with community mental health centers and mainstream community organizations to establish storytelling programs that provide opportunities for individuals with serious mental illnesses to tell stories of community participation. In addition, these organizations will be encouraged to share these stories with the broader community through avenues such as story slams or Storycorps.
- Establishing Welcoming Communities: Opportunities for community participation are enhanced when mainstream community organizations are welcoming and inclusive for individuals with mental illnesses. In this project, we expand upon our welcoming spaces research project to work with four different organizations that employ professionals that work in mainstream environments including: the National Recreation and Parks Association; Better Bike Share; South Eastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority; and the American Library Association. Working with a focus group of professionals, we will develop a toolkit and series of online trainings to disseminate to professional groups.
- Enriching environments: Tools for providers to promote community living and participation. Community participation is more likely to occur when individuals are aware of and able to access their community. This project will develop an online repository of mainstream technologies that can be harnessed to increase awareness of community opportunities and/or support independent community participation. This project draws upon our expertise in utilizing technology as a means to document community participation and previous training resources related to using social media to support community participation. In addition to the online resource, we will provide in-depth training to six community mental health agencies that seek to incorporate these strategies into services.
- Responsiveness to the field: We are an established resource and training center available to individuals with lived experience, community mental health providers, policy makers, researchers, educators, and other stakeholders. Individuals or organizations wishing to adopt approaches recommended by the Temple University Collaborative or integrate strategies to promote community living and participation are encouraged to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive additional support on adopting community inclusion practices.